Ready or Not, Here it Comes: SEC Releases Revised Football Schedule
OXFORD, Miss. — The question asked before every Ole Miss game has taken on a new meaning.
“Are you ready?”
The Rebels had better be. After pausing football activities due to COVID-19, the revised Southeastern Conference schedule will saddle Ole Miss with a hard deadline. The team will not be in organized activities until Dec. 9. The new schedule has the Rebels playing at Texas A&M three days later.
Essentially, that would allow Ole Miss one or two days of preparation in Oxford on Dec. 9 and 10, then a travel day, then kickoff. Yet, according to a University press release, this is the only option.
“As a result of game postponements during the 2020 season due to the impact of COVID-19, the Southeastern Conference announced today a schedule for football games to be played the next two weeks, including Ole Miss’ matchups against Texas A&M on Dec. 12 and LSU on Dec. 19.”
That puts the Rebels in a bind, but according to the University release, the suspension of team activities was necessary.
“Ole Miss’ suspension of team activities is in the best interest of student-athlete and staff safety and came after consulting with the MSDH,” the release read. “Testing will continue during this period, and the appropriate health measures will be taken for those student-athletes and staff members affected by the virus.”
Statement from Ole Miss on suspension of team activities
It is a good thing the Rebels have had three Saturdays off recently plus this one to rest.
But still, a couple of days to get ready to play the fifth-ranked team in the country? That is a tall order.
Fortunately, the Rebels have been on a hot streak winning their last three games including a 31-24 triumph over Mississippi State last week. In the past three games, Ole Miss has outscored its opponents an average of 48-29.
In the three wins against State, South Carolina and Vanderbilt, quarterback Matt Corral has heated up as much as any player in the nation. In just those three games, the sophomore has completed 83 passes for 1,310 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Elijah Moore has been a favorite target in the Ole Miss passing attack all season, but in the past three contests, he has given statisticians a workout. The junior has grabbed 39 passes for 602 yards and five scores.
The Rebels’ defense has shown improvement of late. The Landsharks had their best game of the season last week and seemed prepared to take even more strides this week before the game at A&M was postponed.
Ole Miss is not the only team that is adjusting. Here is a look at what the conference schedule will look like the final two weeks of the SEC season:
LSU at Florida (rescheduled from Oct. 17)
Auburn at Mississippi State (rescheduled from Nov. 14)
Georgia at Missouri (rescheduled from Nov. 14)
Ole Miss at Texas A&M (rescheduled from Nov. 21)
Tennessee at Vanderbilt (rescheduled from Nov. 28)
Alabama at Arkansas (rescheduled from Dec. 5)
Texas A&M at Tennessee (rescheduled from Nov. 14)*
Ole Miss at LSU (rescheduled from Dec. 5)
Missouri at Mississippi State (rescheduled from Dec 5)
Vanderbilt at Georgia (rescheduled from Dec. 5)#
SEC Football Championship, Atlanta, 8 pm ET/7 pm CT
*Should Texas A&M qualify for the SEC Championship Game on December 19, the Texas A&M at Tennessee game would be declared a no-contest and Texas A&M would represent the Western Division in the SEC title game.
#Should Georgia qualify for the SEC Championship Game on December 19, the Vanderbilt at Georgia game would be declared a no-contest and Georgia would represent the Eastern Division in the SEC title game.
No matter the scenario, Ole Miss is slated to take the Kyle Field turf a week from Saturday. So, the original question still stands: “Are you ready?”
The way the Rebels have been playing lately that gives them the confidence they can play with any team the answer can be easily predicted:
“Hell yeah, damn right.”
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.